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Warehouse management for 40,000 aircraft parts


Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus has optimized its warehouse management. There are three state-of-the-art automated storage areas at the heart of the logistics center in Stans near Lucerne, which was built in 2015. The LFS.wms warehouse management system from Ehrhardt + Partner (E+P) guarantees smooth process control in the automated small parts, tray and pallet warehouse and throughout the warehouse environment.

The LFS.mfc material flow controller coordinates and optimizes the high efficiency of the processes in the aircraft manufacturer's automated warehouses. By integrating automation technology and the two control systems, the manufacturer of smaller multi-purpose and training aircraft has taken a step towards series production of the new PC-24 business jets. Pilatus is deploying the solution from Ehrhardt + Partner to handle the further increase in order volume. The aircraft manufacturer can supply the required parts quickly and with maximum quality.

From fuselage, aircraft turbines and tires to the smallest of screws and rivets, the aircraft manufacturer stocks around 40,000 different items in the newly built logistics center at the headquarters of Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG in Stans near Lucerne. Before the new center, Pilatus was processing approx. 3,000 picks per day exclusively via list picking – a time-consuming undertaking for the Swiss company, which develops, builds and sells its aircraft worldwide. An important goal of warehouse automation was therefore to implement fast and smooth processes, so that the components can be processed just-in-time for production and maintenance. LFS.wms applies the goods-to-person (GTP) principle to provide very small parts within a few seconds. The system thereby guarantees permanently high quality and certainty during the picking process.

When it comes to Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situations in particular, individual order management is crucial for successful logistics. Urgent orders (AOG orders) are processed immediately by employees and prioritized over other current orders to reduce downtimes at the airport. Simultaneously, the LFS.mfc material flow controller monitors, analyses and networks the processes in the background. »The warehouse management system from E+P gives us a solution to manage our entire warehouse, including automated areas, and optimize the material flow when required,« says Floor Heylen Wegmann, Logistics Department Manager at Pilatus Flugzeugwerke AG.

As passenger safety plays an extremely important role and Pilatus has to meet the high requirements for aviation, LFS.wms also follows all inspection procedures – for both incoming and outgoing goods. The system issues the correct certificates to ensure installation in the aircraft in compliance with the law.

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